What matters to young voters when choosing a presidential candidate?
No one’s political beliefs fit into a neat little bill or policy. To advocate support for someone running for office, people must educate themselves about all that person stands for. But how informed are young voters to the world of politics?
Celebrity endorsements draw younger audiences towards their candidates through the media: Romney has Clint Eastwood, Snoop Dogg supports Ron Paul and Olivia Wilde has worked with the Obama campaign.
Studies show that young adults typically vote democratic, but the opinions gathered from Leesville students reflected diversity.
Elena Mulligan, Vice President of Political Club and a liberal, said, “I feel like with young people it’s more of the social issues that drive that, [political opinions] at sixteen, seventeen, you don’t really care about the economy. I think that young people have a lot of faith in the future of the country, but that’s partially because they really haven’t gotten to experience the different leaderships of different presidents.”
Ben Tim, senior and a Republican, said, “A lot of issues for young people that are put in the media require a more liberal view in the interest of young people, so most young people probably lean more towards the left than the right. I think some have a lot of faith in the system, I also think that some people, depending on their orientation, don’t. But it all really depends on who comes into power in this upcoming election.”
Conversely, there are students at LRHS who are not politically active. Adam Backshall, senior, said, “I don’t care about politics. I have more important things to worry about.”
Mrs. Dow [formerly Ms. Nusbaum], the Political Club advisor, feels that people listen to the media that reinforces what they already believe. Soundbites used by the media are often taken out of context and misinterpreted for a headline.
From what she’s seen in Political Club and her AP government classes, half her students see the country cynically, while the other is more optimistic and believe their vote will make a difference.
LRHS students interpretation of politics vary depending on values and pre-conceived opinions. Families influence these political opinions, which develop student’s political philosophies or orientation.